Niche Fitness Gyms: Fit for Liability

February 09, 2017 | SECURA Insurance

Yoga studios, CrossFit gyms, martial art centers, climbing clubs…there are all kinds of niche workout facilities today, catering to one fitness specialty or another. For some, these facilities become more than a place to work out. They become a kind of community space—a place for people with shared interests to come together in support of healthy, whole lifestyles. 

That’s why safety is an important issue for every gym user. One underinsured accident could lead to the closure of a favorite destination. Gym owners, of course, share the largest burden of responsibility, but gym members have their part to play too. 
Gym Owners
As a small business owner, your role is to be proactive, rather than reactive, when it comes to minimizing risks. You have a duty of care to keep the equipment and facility safe, clean, and free of dangerous obstacles. 
What’s more, you must alert users to potential risks and foreseeable injuries. Does the floor get slippery during workouts? Are users swinging weights in a crowded space? Warn users of any known dangers, and remind participants to respect their own limitations.
Gym Members
Always stay aware of your surroundings and work out responsibly. If you injure someone at the gym, through risky or careless behavior, you could find yourself the target of a lawsuit. Look around you. Ensure you have adequate space for whatever exercise you’re performing and adhere to all gym safety rules. 
If you’re new to a facility, spend some time familiarizing yourself with the gym and its routine activity. In one Florida CrossFit gym, for example, a member was injured after being startled by the sudden, loud noise of free weights hitting the floor. It’s possible that better awareness of gym norms could have helped prevent that accident. 
Take part in gym safety, for the benefit of all members. Report broken or faulty equipment and facility maintenance issues. Put gear away where it belongs and generally keep an eye out for member welfare. Enlist help from gym staff if another member is misusing equipment and/or causing a potential risk to others. 
Taking an active interest in gym safety protects those around you and helps ensure your fitness facility will continue to be available as a place to sweat, strive, and socialize. 

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